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Miltiades

Updated on December 1, 2016

Miltiades, Athenian general, born about 550 B.C. About 524 B.C., Miltiades became the ruler of an Athenian settlement in the Thracian Chersonese. He went on Darius' expedition against the Scythians in 515 B.C. and learned Persian military maneuvers. In 493 B.C., after taking part in the Greek Ionian revolt against the Persians, he fled to Athens. He became a powerful political opponent of the conservatives, and they charged him with tyranny. However, he was acquitted by the popular assembly. In 490 B.C., Miltiades was elected one of the ten Athenian generals and began to train heavy infantry to combat the imminent Persian invasion. He convinced the Athenians to engage the Persian forces in spite of their fears and then led the seriously outnumbered army to a great victory at the Battle of Marathon. He was granted a fleet later that year, although he apparently did not give the reason for his request, and attacked the island of Pares. The attack failed, and Miltiades was tried and fined. He died soon after from a wound received in the Paros adventure in 489 B.C.

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